The first day of the British Cycling Junior Road Series’ Screentek International Junior Tour of the Mendips ended with a black flag following a crash on Stage 1.
Saturday’s action began with a win for Team Wales’ Oscar Mingay in the 6.4km prologue time trial, before what was supposed to be a 105.5km road stage around and over the Mendip Hills.
But with two laps of the circuit to go George Wharton, of Spokes Racing, went down heavily at the foot of a climb and the race was neutralised and then stopped.
The field restarted as one, but with the road still blocked by medics tending to Wharton, the commissaire black-flagged the race and judged the general classification would remain as it was following the conclusion of the earlier prologue.
Mingay took the early win by just 0.33s from Josh Copley of Catford CC Equipe/Banks in a closely-fought prologue.
With the course skirting round Chew Valley Lake, just south of Bristol, the riders were grateful for sunny and calm conditions on a route exposed to the elements.
Bristol Cycling Development’s Squad’s George Bazley was the first to take to the road, but it was Copley that set the early pace from his starting position of fifth.
Thomas Bostock of Equiom IOM Junior Cycling Team came close four minutes later with a time of 10:34.01 to go second – a time that wouldn’t be bettered until Theo Hartley of Identity Racing clocked 10:29.96 almost half an hour later.
But it was Mingay that won the stage with Hartley and Spokes Racing Team’s Dylan Hughes the only other men to dip under 10:30.00.
The route took the peloton around over one climb before a scheduled seven laps of a circuit on the top of the Mendip Hills, with sprint points available for the Kalas Sprints competition.
Jacques Sauvagnargues, of Zappi Racing Team, was the first to break clear of the field on the first lap, before he was swallowed up and a duo of Team Wales’ James Tillett and Corley Cycles’ Theo Modell escaped on lap two.
They were reeled in, though, and a solo effort from Conor Davies, of Papillon-Rudyco-Janatrans Cycling Team, followed but it was again fruitless.
Wharton then broke clear with three laps remaining and he had established a five second gap on the bunch when passing through the start-finish area.
He went down heavily at the bottom of the next climb, though, and after the race picked its way past, the ambulance stopped to treat him.
The race was neutralised, and then stopped, with Wharton’s teammate Stephen Dent, Backstedt Cycling’s Joshua Price and Hargroves Cycles’ Harry Yateshaving having established a lead of a few hundred metres on the peloton.
However the gap was less than 30 seconds so the race restarted as one, but, with Wharton still being tended to, the race commissaire brought down the black flag.
As a result the general classification remains as it was following the prologue, with Samuel Tillett, of Team Wales, leading the sprint standings after taking the first intermediate and finishing behind Wharton in the second.
There has yet to be an update on the condition of Wharton, but everyone at British Cycling’s wishes him a full and speedy recovery.
1 Oscar Mingay Team Wales
2 Josh Copley Catford CC Equipe/Banks @ 1 second
3 Theo Hartley Identity Racing same time
4 Dylan Hughes Spokes Racing Team st
5 Thomas Bostock Equiom IOM Junior Cycling Team @ 6 seconds
6 Brad Dansfield Bike Box Alan @ 13
7 Zak Coleman Strada-Sport @ 14
8 Samuel Tillett Team Wales same time
9 Theo Modell Team Corley Cycles st
10 Harry Hardcastle Wheelbase Cabtech Junior RT @ 15
Kalas Sprints Competition
1 Samuel Tillett Wales 17 points
2 George Wharton Spokes Racing Team 10
3 James Tillett Wales 7
4 Joshua Price Backstedt Cycling 5
5 Theo Modell Team Corley Cycles 5
Time Trial Result
1 Oscar Mingay Team Wales 10:28.39
2 Josh Copley Catford CC Equipe/Banks 10:29.72
3 Theo Hartley Identity Racing 10:29.96
4 Dylan Hughes Spokes Racing Team 10:29.99
5 Thomas Bostock Equiom IOM Junior Cycling Team 10:34.01
6 Brad Dansfield Bike Box Alan 10:41.20
7 Zak Coleman Strada-Sport 10:42.63
8 Samuel Tillett Team Wales 10:42.75
9 Theo Modell Team Corley Cycles 10:42.81
10 Harry Hardcastle Wheelbase Cabtech Junior RT